There was a popular song in the 90’s called “I Believe I Can
Fly.” The song has made its way around the world, inspiring millions of people
to believe in themselves. It’s of a similar theme to the old saying you’ve probably
heard many times from a parent, mentor, or teacher: “If you believe it, you can
The truth is, just believing something doesn’t make it so. A
pig will never fly, and neither will you. There’s a big difference between a
fantasy and a dream. Fantasies exist only in the imagination, but dreams…well,
dreams can come true.
But it takes work to make a dream a reality. After all, a dream that has no chance of becoming reality is nothing more than a waste of time.
That’s the tricky thing about dreams—by definition they are not supposed to start with reality.
The best dreams are bold and ambitious full of hope and possibility. But what makes a dream worthwhile is your ability to bring it into reality.
Rudy Ruettiger said it best, “Reality…is the enemy of
fantasies but not of dreams.” The difference in a fantasy and a dream is
We don’t have the ability to achieve whatever we believe. It
doesn’t matter how much you believe you can fly, if you jump out of a plane
without a parachute, it’s all over.
Think about the difference in fantasizers and dreamers:
- Fantasizers rely on luck. Dreamers rely on
- Fantasizers wait. Dreamers initiate.
- Fantasizers make others responsible. Dreamers
- Fantasizers focus on the destination. Dreamers
focus on the journey.
- Fantasizers minimize the value of work. Dreamers
maximize the work they do.
Successful people don’t leave everything to chance. They
focus on what they can do, and do it.
I love this quote from Coach John Wooden, “I welcome good
luck just as anyone does, but I worked extremely hard to avoid being in a
situation in which luck was necessary to produce a favorable outcome or where
the luck of an adversary could defeat us.”
If your dream is unrealistic, you will depend on things that
are outside of your control to make it a reality. There must be a balance
between the boldness of your dream and the reality of your situation.
Successful people, like Coach Wooden, have mastered the art
of reaching beyond what they’re capable of while depending on factors within their
control. This is called aligning your dreams with your talent.
John Maxwell says, “When people’s talent does not match
their dreams and they fail to recognize it, they will be forever working but
I want to challenge you to look in the mirror and be honest
with yourself about your dreams. Are you trying to do things that you really
aren’t suited for?
Reality is never the enemy of a dream as long as you are depending
on factors within your control. Factors like your ability, your habits, and
Ask yourself these questions as you seek to find that place
where dream and reality meet:
- What is my dream?
- What are my strengths?
- What are my weaknesses?
- What are my positive habits?
- What are my negative habits?
- How long must I practice my positive habits to
reach my potential?
Believing in your dream isn’t enough. You must understand your reality if you want to see your dream come true. I want to encourage you today—dream big, dream bold, and dream beyond imagination!
But more than that, I want to see you accomplish your dreams. And I believe that is possible—with a lot of work. So what are you waiting for?
The John Maxwell